Outrageous Orzo

For a delicious pasta dish, try Outrageous Orzo!  It’s jam-packed with flavor from the roasted red and yellow bell peppers, shallots, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and Parmesan cheese.  It is hearty and perfect to accompany any main course.  Or serve it with some sliced roasted chicken or grilled shrimp on top.  Whatever you decide, this dish will become part of your regular rotation.

I have been making Outrageous Orzo since the 1990’s.  I haven’t tweaked the recipe one iota…it’s perfect the way it is.  My kids loved it when they were little. And, it’s the perfect dish to serve as part of a buffet…your guests will be back for seconds or thirds!

Begin by roasting the red and yellow peppers.   I like to do this on the grill but you could also roast them under the broiler.  Get them nice and charred and then place them in a bowl covered with plastic wrap to steam for 10 minutes.  You can also put them in a brown paper bag to steam.

Once steamed, remove the peels and seeds and cut into small 1/2-inch pieces and set aside.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the orzo.  This will take about 6 minutes. 

While the orzo is cooking, sauté shallots in olive oil until they are softened.  Add the garlic and continue to cook.  Add the sun-dried tomatoes and the chicken stock and boil until the stock is reduced by half.

Stir in the basil and orzo until the stock is completely absorbed.  Add the roasted red peppers and sprinkle the cheese on top.  Mix it in until the cheese is completely distributed and melted.

Sprinkle additional cheese on top and serve while it’s still hot.

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Lastly, if you make Outrageous Orzo, be sure to leave a review down below at the bottom of this page (stars are also appreciated)! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every review. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Outrageous Orzo

Makes: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pound orzo
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 large shallots, minced
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup Italian sun-dried tomatoes with their oil, sliced crosswise
  • 1 & 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or aged asiago cheese (4 ounces)


Roast the bell peppers directly over a grill or a gas flame, turning frequently, until charred all over. Transfer the peppers to a brown paper bag or a bowl with plastic wrap over and set aside for 10 minutes to steam.

Using a knife, scrape off the charred skins. Quarter the peppers. Remove cores and seeds; reserve any juices. Cut the peppers into 1/2-inch dice.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the orzo and cook, stirring once or twice, until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat a large nonreactive skillet over high heat for one minute. Add the olive oil and shallots and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to moderate.

Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and cook for a few seconds and then stir in the stock, freshly ground black pepper and the remaining teaspoon salt.

Increase the heat to high and boil until the stock is reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes, Stir in the basil and then the drained orzo. Stir until the stock is absorbed. Add the roasted peppers with their juices and stir well. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle the cheese on top and stir until it is evenly distributed and melted. Serve immediately.


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